For members


Which nationalities need a short-stay visa for Spain?

There are different visa types you may need to enter Spain depending on your reason, whether it’s for tourism, to visit family, some temporary work or business. Whether you need a visa partly depends on which country you're from.

Which nationalities need a short-stay visa for Spain?
You need a Schengen visa to enter Spain. Photo: by FADEL SENNA / AFP

Spain is located within Europe’s Schengen zone, which is made up of 27 different countries. These are Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

If your country requires you to apply for a visa to enter Spain, then most likely you will apply for what is known as a Schengen visa, which will in fact allow you into any of the countries above for a maximum of 90 days in any 180 days.

Keep in mind, this does not allow you into any country in the EU, the list is different. For example, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Ireland and Romania are in the EU, but are not part of the Schengen Zone.

To apply for a Schengen visa, you will need, a completed visa application form, recent photographs, a valid passport, flight reservations, travel insurance, proof of accommodation, proof of financial means and pay the visa fee, which is €80 for adults and €40 for children from 6 to 12 years old.

Be aware, there are a few countries that need to apply for a Schengen visa, but don’t need to for Spain, such as East Timor and Vanuatu. You can see the complete lists of those who do and don’t need a visa for Spain below. 

The list of countries that must apply for a visa to enter Spain are:

African countries
Angola, Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Chad, Cormoros Islands, Congo, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Egypt, Eswantini, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Central African Republic, D. Rep. of the Congo, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Middle Eastern Countries
Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Syria, Yemen, and Palestine. 

Asian countries
Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Cambodia, China, North Korea, Philippines, India, Indonesia, Laos, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

Central Asian countries
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Non-EU European countries
Ukraine, Kosovo and Belarus. 

South American countries
Belize, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guyana and Suriname. 

North American countries

Caribbean countries
Haiti, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic. 

Transcontinental countries
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Russia. 

Oceanic countries
Fiji and Papua New Guinea. 

If you are not from one of the above countries, you will not have to apply for a visa to enter Spain, however, you may still need to prove you can meet certain requirements, such as a return flight, proof of accommodation or enough funds.

Nationals from countries that don’t need a visa for Spain are: 

All EU/EEA countries

Non-EU European countries
United Kingdom, Albania, Andorra, North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Holy See (Vatican City), Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino and Serbia. 

Caribbean countries
Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago and Saint Kitts & Nevis. 

South American countries
Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. 

Asian countries
Brunei, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and East Timor. 

North and Central American countries
Canada, United States, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama.

Oceanic countries
Australia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, New Zealand, Palau, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. 

African countries
Seychelles and Mauritius. 

Middle Eastern countries 
United Arab Emirates and Israel. 

Transcontinental countries

Be aware that in 2024, non-EU nationals who don’t need a visa for Spain will have to apply for an ETIAS, which stands for European Travel Information and Authorisation System. This is relevant only to non-EU citizens who do not live permanently in an EU country or have a visa for an EU country.

It, therefore, covers tourists, second-home owners, those on family visits or doing short-term work.

It is similar to the ESTA needed for the US and each application costs €7. The start date has been postponed several times and it’s due to come into force in 2024, but it isn’t known exactly when.

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For members


Will Spain ban short-haul domestic flights like France has?

At the end of May, France formalised a ban on domestic flights for journeys possible in less than two-and-a-half hours by train, but will the same happen in Spain?

Will Spain ban short-haul domestic flights like France has?

In practice, it the plan to ban short domestic flights in France was already largely in effect, but on May 23rd, it was published in a government decree.

The change means that flights between Paris and regional hubs such as Nantes, Lyon and Bordeaux, will officially be banned, but flights that have onward connections will be unaffected.

READ ALSO: Why are flights to and from Spain so expensive this summer?

Could Spain pass similar legislation and ban short domestic flights?

According to research carried out by scientists at the University of Manchester in the UK, short-haul flights are the main cause of aviation emissions in Europe.  

Eliminating short-haul European flights (less than 500 kilometres) would drastically reduce aviation emissions, which account for six percent of total greenhouse gases. It would be a “good measure” in the fight against climate change, according to the researchers.

Because of the damage to the environment and the substantial emissions from short-haul flights, the Spanish government actually proposed a very similar plan in 2021, banning flights with rail alternatives that would take less than two and a half hours.

READ ALSO – Train travel from Spain to France: Everything you need to know

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s 2050 Agenda, also included this plan. According to government calculations, eliminating short-haul flights would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to two million tons.

“It is recommended that flights be prohibited on those routes that can be made by train in less than 2.5 hours,” the plan stated.  

This would directly affect the routes between Madrid and Barcelona, operated by airlines such as Iberia, Air Europa or Vueling. It would also affect flights between Madrid and the hubs of Valencia, Alicante, Seville and Málaga.  

In fact, experts have calculated that prohibiting short domestic flights in Spain would make one in five flight routes disappear.  

Nothing, however, has been put in place for the immediate future. When questioned about this, the Ministry of Transport said that the transfer of passengers from the air sector to the rail sector had already taken place “in a natural way” and that the high-speed network covers “a large part of the main domestic links”.

READ ALSO: The Spanish cities that will be most affected by rising sea levels

Potential problems 

But, while France has an extensive network of high-speed rail, some parts of Spain are lacking in this department, including Castilla y León, Castilla-La Mancha and Extremadura.  

In these regions, trains run infrequently on underused tracks, sometimes running at 30 kilometres per hour and experience constant breakdowns.

While there has been a lot of investment and more high-speed rail operators running between some of Spain’s major cities, with the introduction of Iryo, Avlo and Ouigo, in so-called empty Spain, there has been a lack of investment that has caused great political disputes.  


The government proposal sparked an angry protest from the Airlines Association (ALA).

Faced with the possibility of a ban or the introduction of a fee for travellers on domestic flights, the ALA warned about the “devastating” impact that any of these measures would have on the airline sector, as well as on tourism and, consequently, on employment and the country’s economy.

Banning flights of less than 500 kilometres or less than two and a half hours would mean stopping flights from almost any point on the peninsula to Madrid, they argued.  

According to the ALA, travellers would have to stop flying to other continents through Madrid, and would have to go to other European cities like Paris, London, Frankfurt or Rome.

The result would be the same amount of CO2 emissions, but Madrid would be seriously affected.

However, in France, the measure does not affect onward connecting flights, like Nantes via Paris to Stockholm, so the same could be applied to Spain.  

With climate change increasingly affecting Spain including above-average temperatures, droughts, wildfires and flash flooding, the Spanish government could very well decide to bring the domestic flight ban proposal to the forefront of discussions once again.